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Summer Reading Club keeps kids engaged

Reading 20 minutes a day can help ease kids back into their school curriculum; that's the idea behind the Airdrie Public Library (APL) summer reading club.
Although the Summer Reading Club will be offered online, activities that normally would take place at Airdrie Public Library can still be done at 凯发真人试玩首页home. File Photo/Airdrie City View

Although the Airdrie Public Library (APL) is currently closed, a summer program will nevertheless encourage children to read.

According to Eric Pottie, APL's programming and customer engagement co-ordinator, reading 20 minutes a day can help ease kids back into their school curriculum. The Summer Reading Club (SRC) aims to incentivize daily reading.

"Kids take two months off, and then they go back to school and a lot of what they learned the previous year has been forgotten," Pottie said. "The summer reading program helps keep the kids reading and thinking levels up, so when they return to school, it goes smoothly, and they're not playing catch-up."

Registration for the SRC will be available at June 26, and videos and content will go live on July 6. Kids will be provided with a reading log, which they can use to track how much time they’ve spent reading.

According to Pottie, each week during the six-week program will focus on a different genre of book, which will be linked to APL’s available online materials.

Booklets will be prepared for the children, Pottie said, and if they have an interest in a certain genre, books specific to the child's interest will be recommended.

“As the summer goes on, people will also be able to get books from the library,” he said.

Although the program – which is for children of all ages – will be offered online at due to COVID-19, activities and prizes will still be offered to keep kids interested in reading.

Pottie said APL wants to keep the same level of engagement they would have had if the SRC was offered in-person. The program is organized into what he called a “three-tiered system of engagement.”

"If you want to do the reading all on your own time and just fill out your reading log, that's totally fine," he said. "We're making videos of programs and things kids can do at 凯发真人试玩首页home, which is the next level."

The third tier involves an online classroom setup through Google, where kids can share how the activity went. Participants can also comment and ask questions.

A number of activities, including science experiments, arts and crafts and cooking will take place through Zoom calls, Pottie said.

"If we're doing a science experiment or a cooking day, we tell you what you need in advance," he said. "And then we would do it together in real-time."

Parents could tailor the activities to their child's interests, Pottie said, and participate in as few or as many as they like.

Prizes will also be available for those taking part in the Summer Reading Club. According to Pottie, ballots will be given to children based on how many minutes they track in their reading logs – the more they read, the more ballots they’ll receive. Prize draws will take place at the end of the program and include prizes like art and science kits. The grand prize will be a tablet.

Kate Mackenzie,
Follow me on Twitter @katefmack


Kate F. Mackenzie

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